Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
The nomenclature was however different, and some commentators have forgotten to explain the fact, that what the Greeks called the highest note, meant the longest string of the instrument, and consequently the lowest tone.
Another fact which has given rise to much controversy is the pitch of the lyre or phomiinx; it seems that the mode of tuning this instrument varied in Greece at different epochs, and even in different localities at the same epoch.*
The word harmony (harmonike) has also been misunderstood, as it does not mean harmony in our sense of the word, but the arrangement and rhythm of a melody. Whether the Greeks under­stood harmon}r or not, in the modern sense, has been the chief cause of the before-mentioned "Battle of the Books."
The lowest note of the scale was called Proslam-banomenos, and had not the importance of the middle note, called Mese, which really became the principal note of the scale.
The Greek music practically, was very like our present minor modes, and the singing of some young Greek of two ihousand )'ears ago, would probably have sounded pleasantly to modern ears.
The earliest Greek scale had but four tones, and was probably used to accompany hymns. It might still suffice for many church chants, f People seldom think how much music can be manufactured from three or four notes; Rousseau
•Lloyd         I Lloyd Aire of Pericles, Vol. II.. p. 222.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III